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struggling to live

Binge Eating

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how do i stop it?

i cant stop thinking about food and eating all day. i try not to eat for a couple of hours but then i give in and eat all i feel like eating even if im not hungry and im full.

i dont know why i do it. maybe im looking for something to comfort myself? but how do i stop it?

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Hi Struggling,

I'm sorry you are having this problem. I am a binge eater and I have done so all my life (I'm 56). It can be hell sometimes. But there are things you can do to help yourself. First of all, it sounds to me like you need to go to your Dr and have a checkup. There may be some physical reason for your wanting to eat. Have a physical and tell your Dr about what's happening. If he can't find any physical reason for it, then I think your next stop is professional therapy with a therapist specializing in eating disorders.

I can give you a few tips about what I do to try to not binge.

First of all, I tell myself over and over that there is no food in the world that will make me feel better.

Second, I try to distract myself by doing other things that I love to do. That helps take your mind off the idea of eating.

Third, go for a walk, or the gym to exercise or some sort of physical activity.

Try really hard to not eat in front of the TV or computer. Have your meals at the dinner table, with nothing else going on. It's easy to get into the habit of mindlessly munching while staring at the TV or computer screen.

I also recommend you look for an Overeaters Anonymous group near you. OA has a great website, and you can find groups in your area, if you are in the US. I don't know if there are groups in other countries.

Keep coming here and posting on the DF. We will give you as much support as we can. There is a specific forum here for eating disorders, so you might want to scope that out.

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I am right there with you. LibraryLady is spot on though. You may have an underlying health issue that is causing you to want to eat all the time. It can range from anything to your thyroid being out of whack, a vitamin defiency, to diabetes/hypoglycemia. They might be able to refer you to a nutritionist or a counselor who can help you.

Practicing mindfulness while eating is definitely a big one for me. Thinking about what you are eating while you are eating and not when you are going to eat next helps. Keep your meal times distraction free, Don't reward yourself with food, and keeping a food journal helps. It keeps you thinking about your portion sizes and helps prevent mindless eating.

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Hi Struggling,

I can relate in many ways and I'm sure there are others on here who feel the same way too. Food and alcohol have always been major coping skills in my family. For me, food is a means to feel "full" and "complete" on the inside. Right now I'm trying to stay away from the bag of chips and packet of sweets that I bought on an impulse earlier tonight...and not even so much an impulse as "I'm stressed out, and I'll probably feel worse later, so I might as well buy these now so I'll have them for later." Now I am sitting here feeling as depressed and anxious as ever and trying so hard not to open those bags or pour another glass of alcohol post-dinner. I don't want to drown my sorrows and failures into substances that do me no good mentally, physically, or spiritually, but it can be hard to build yourself up when you feel like you are falling apart.

Individual and DBT group therapies have been helping me in realizing that I definitely have a food problem and that I'm susceptible to drinking problems in the future. It's been a rough year, but I am slowly trying to move forward as best I can. There will be good days and bad days. It's all about perspective. I keep reminding myself that I'm not perfect, that I can't be everything to everyone at all times, and sometimes the B-grade in daily functioning is OK as long as you have an A-grade in kindness, compassion, good deeds, and a life that makes you happy (and even then, there will be setbacks, but just keep moving!). I think that for me, food provides a way to "eat" away that stress and make me feel like I'm a whole person on the inside. But the stress won't go away by doing that. And only I can make myself feel whole. Not one person or thing can do that for me. Only I can fulfill myself. Sometimes I get so tired of the struggle. But I can't give up. Tomorrow is a new day with a new story to tell. And I want to be there to tell it...or at least be apart of it!

I'm sorry for going on a bit of a tangent! I agree with Pinga and Library that your problem might be medical or psychological, and I recommend you get it checked out as well. I also try the above techniques (positive self-talk, mindfulness, distraction, etc). That helps me as well. Good luck and let us know of any updates!

Best,

Kalla

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Thank you all very much for your support, understanding and advices. i'll try to follow them.... from tomorrow.

actually i've just finished a compulsive eating. this morning i bought some junk food to eat it once a day for the next few days but once i started my first chocolate bar i couldnt stop and i ate them all. i know its wrong and disgusting but it felt like i had to eat them all... to feel at peace with myself.

as if after eating them all i could feel complete and nothing missing. as if i could fill myself and feel i dont need anything else afterwards. but i always need something else afterwards :(

im pretty sure theres nothing wrong physically (unless the antidepressants are the cause?), i think its all psicological and i've fought with it for months believing i could beat it and i've only mentioned a couple of times my eating habits with my therapist, as if it was a minor topic, but now i realize its becoming a real problem and i want to overcome it.

thank you for your help.

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I'm glad you want to overcome your eating problem. That is a huge step in the right direction! It took me many years to even admit that there was something wrong, much less go for help!

I send you hugs!

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Thank you LibraryLady.

unfortunately i cant stop eating today. it feels like its the last day im allowed to eat anything so i need to eat all i can.

i do this often, have a day or two when i eat continuously and then have another couple of days when i skip meals and walk for hours trying to consume calories. it allows me not to get too fat but its so exhausting fighting with craves all day every day.

i also make plans on what to eat for a couple of days. i know exactly what i'll eat for lunch and dinner for the next couple of days but i never count all what i eat during the rest of the day.... im not sure planning is a good thing? or that it works?

also, i think eating helps me not self harming. but at this point, im not sure which one is the best thing?

sorry for talking so much, i just feel the need to talk about it because it has been a secret for so long and now im exhausted of the continuous fight and of fighting it all alone.

thank you for being there.

best wishes

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You can never talk too much! That is what we are here for. We understand what you are going through, and we want to help!

I never know if it's good to plan meals ahead or not. I've tried it both ways. LOL!

Binge eating is a coping mechanism that you learned at some point to help you deal with stress in your life. It is not a mechanism that you need anymore, but you continue because it's your comfort zone, and a habit.

It is so HARD to stop a binge when it's in full swing, but what I try to do is nip it in the bud and try to ask myself things like: am I hungry? I try to put myself off and say that I'll wait until I feel hungry before I eat anything. Or that I'll wait an hour and then have something. Then, when the hour has gone by I'll tell myself to wait another hour, or even half an hour! And I say over and over to myself that there is no food in the world that will make me feel better. Food just does not help.

Also, do you have a friend you could call or text when you feel you want to binge? Spend some time on the phone with them until you feel stronger. And of course there's the DF where there is almost always someone available to talk to. I'll mention again that if you got involved with an Overeaters Anynomous group it would help. You can join an online group of OA.

Remember, keep putting one foot in front of the other. If you put off binging for one hour, that is a victory! Anything that is a step in the right direction is a victory, no matter how small!

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Thank you very much LibraryLady, you have helped me so much. i wrote down your tips and i'll try to follow them.

also, realizing that i have slowly replaced self harm with food during the past years has helped me to better understand why i am doing it and how to try to stop it.

thank you very much for being there and for your help.

best wishes

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Struggling, you are still winning. The fact that you are aware of what you are doing and you are making the effort to change is a huge victory! Every time you binge, say to yourself, OK, I did that and now it's over with. Don't beat yourself up about it because that will cause you to binge again!

Say, it's over and done with and I'm looking forward and striving to go as long as I can without a binge. I know that I will always be a binge eater. It's just a matter of how often I do it. You realize you are a binger too, you just need to put if off as long as possible. Then, when it happens, OK, it's over, and start again. You might find the time between binges is getting a bit longer.

That's what I do. I know I will binge, it's just how long can I go before I do it?

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Struggling, are you eating to comfort yourself? Think about that. WHY are you eating? Tell yourself over and over that there is no food in the world that will make you feel better.

I don't remember, but are you seeing a Dr about your ED? If not I really think you need to see someone, esp if your eating is so out of control.

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The therapist im seeing (for 5 years - not about an ED) isnt helping at all. i dont know what to do anymore.

i try to tell myself food wont make me feel any better but its nout enough.

i can eat regularly for a couple of days (with much effort) but then comes the day i tell myself: "you've been good for a couple of days, now you can allow yourself a big nice binge, just to make you resist for another couple of days". it is like, with the binge, im trying to recharge myself, then finish the battery and after a couple of days need to rechagre it again.

i dont know how to stop it. im disgusted by myself and by the amount of food im able to eat.

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The therapist im seeing (for 5 years - not about an ED) isnt helping at all. i dont know what to do anymore.

i try to tell myself food wont make me feel any better but its nout enough.

i can eat regularly for a couple of days (with much effort) but then comes the day i tell myself: "you've been good for a couple of days, now you can allow yourself a big nice binge, just to make you resist for another couple of days". it is like, with the binge, im trying to recharge myself, then finish the battery and after a couple of days need to rechagre it again.

i dont know how to stop it. im disgusted by myself and by the amount of food im able to eat.

I can relate. I do the same thing. The medication I'm taking has the side effect of making me overeat. One thing i'm learning: If you're craving something in particular, whether its a cheeseburger or milkshake/something sweet, go ahead and eat that instead of trying to fill up on 'healthier' foods. Although some healthy foods can be filling as well, a lot of times I find myself eating lots of little snacks and 'empty calories' and end up still feeling hungry. Eat what will satisfy you, then try to resist the urge to keep eating. I know it's a struggle, I've been dealing with this for years, even before I started this medication.

One thing you must try to remember, we cannot be in control of everything all the time. I look in the mirror and hate the cellulite on my thighs and it's depressing, but I try to remind myself, to remain strong and accept the fact that I am not in control of everything, all the time.

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I usually give in and eat exactly what im craving for, without trying to substitute it with healthier foods before because i know it never works for me and always end up eating what i wanted in first place anyway.

i've stopped taking my AD for a week to see if something changed, and maybe i am a little less hungry but i keep bingeing. so thats not a physical thing but a psychological thing.

keeping the food diary is helping but not enough.

some more suggestions? how do i stop it? or control it better?

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Hi Struggling to live,

I don´t think you should stop your AD´s without talking to your doctor. There is a methode to tapering off, so you really need to speak to your doctor. Low serotonin can make you crave carbs and sugary food.

To control your cravings, keep your blood sugar normal by eating healthy food every three hours and check your portions. You get cravings partly from low blood sugar, so keep it levelled.

Start taking fish oil every day.

Stop eating processed food all the time. Keep away from refined sugar and white flour, because they are addictive. Substitute them with brown sugar, honey or use Stevia.

Learn about food and be excited about new recipes that promote your wellness and health. Learn about your calorie need, look at your problem rationally. Do you need a certain amount of calories to be healthy or are you eating too much?

Go to OA meetings, use the twelve steps to control your addiction to food.

Use guided meditation and self love confirmations every day. Don´t hate yourself for having this problem, work hard at becoming healthy.

Beware of triggers. If you go to the movies, get healthier popcorn or take it with you. You can get popcorn that is non fat. But remember to allow yourself once in awhile to have ice cream or candy, but not every day.

Cut out one unhealthy snack from your diet.

Think about your motivation for controlling this disorder. I want to live longer for my children, my career, my friends and my hobbies; that is my motivation for staying healthy. Not because I want to look sexy in a bathing suit. Although there is nothing wrong with wanting that, but for me, it is important that the motivation is an important one.

Make sure to eat enough during the day. Otherwise you will lose all control at nights and start binging, becauce that is when you relax after the day and will lose will power.

Know what kind of binge eater you are. Is it stress that triggers you or anxiety? Do you eat because you´re depressed and sad?

I know I´m a comfort eater. If I´m stressed and afraid, I crave comfort food that is bad for me. I find it helpful to use CBT to keep my mind rational and keep my mind relaxed and choose fruit and yogurt instead of the chocolate I crave.

Those are just a few ideas to get you going and I hope it helps. :) But remember, it is far from easy. You may take one step forward and two steps backwards, but that is no big deal. Just find what is comfortable for you and good luck! :)

Edited by Violet31

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I eat for comfort. In fact I over eat all the time. Now that I am on Zyprexa I eat more than ever. Increased appetite is one of the massive side effects of Zyprexa. It feels like there is a hole in my stomach that can never be filled. When I start eating, a trigger is set off in my brain and I want to consume more and more. There is no switch in my brain that sends a message saying "you are now full, stop eating". I feel compelled to eat until my stomach feels like there is a rock inside. So, sorry, I cannot dispense any advice to you @strugglingtolive as I have the same problem. Quite frankly, it does not bother me as eating feels like one of the only things that makes me happy these days.

Edited by Darrith

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Darrith, i know what you mean. the same happened to me when i was taking Zyprexa. now, without any antidepressant my hunger has diminished a lot. i still feel like binging sometimes (emotional eating) but im much more in control than i used to be with the antidepressants. the food diary has helped me a lot too, as telling to myself i can wait and i can choose if eating what im craving for or not. its a daily struggle, but i want to win it.

takecare

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Wow over the holiday tell me about it! I gained a good amount I was having like a horrible triggering week but.. trying to tell myself.. "it's not the end of the world.. shhh its ok.. calm down.. " it's so hard. -_-

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During the holidays I've been alternating overeating and fasting. it has been hard and it STILL is hard.

a stupid thing i've been doing is rewarding myself with food when i succeed in controlling my eating. useless to say, it ruins all the efforts made. i should find another way for rewarding myself but i dont know what it could be.

i've also tried eating "healthy" for a whole day, without eating out of meals but it didnt work well, it made me GAIN weight, so i wont try it again: a useless effort.

so now im back at where i was 2 moths ago and have to lose the same weight again.

it's such a struggle. a daily struggle and i hate it. im so tired of fighting every single day.

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